First of all – advance notice that on 3 January 2019 the essay collection edited by Drs Diane Heath, Victoria Blud and Einat Klafter on Gender in Medieval Places, Spaces and Thresholds will be available ‘in all good bookshops’, or you can pre-order now at: https://www.sas.ac.uk/publication/gender-medieval-places-spaces-and-thresholds . Published by the Institute for Historical Research, it will also be available to download at: http://humanities-digital-library.org/index.php/hdl . To celebrate this excellent event, the book will be launched at the Gender and History conference at Durham in January, with a follow up launch at Canterbury Christ Church because of the involvement of CCCU historians and that the book comes out of the Gender and History conference held here in 2017.
Next week will be more meetings than events, but it is great to know that preparations for Becket 2020 are continuing to develop on a wide range of fronts. Among these will be the conference at Canterbury Cathedral in November 2020, for which the plenary speakers are already in place and the call for papers will go out fairly soon. Other events planned include an even bigger Medieval Pageant than usual, a light show and events linked to several other medieval saints up and down the country – a truly national celebration of cathedral cities in England and Wales.
Next week looks very exciting. We have the Becket Lecture on Tuesday when Dr Rachel Koopmans will tell us about her fascinating new findings about the Becket stained glass windows in Canterbury Cathedral. Among her exciting discoveries with Leonie Seliger are the earliest images of these pilgrims that had been thought to be a 19th-century creation. This is ground-breaking research, and everyone is welcome to come to hear her in Powell Lecture Theatre at 6.30pm (following a wine reception).
I’m delighted to say that the ‘Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend 2019’ website is almost there and all being well it will be possible to book tickets for the tours from later next week, including those led by Paul Bennett (Canterbury Archaeological Trust). These tickets always go pretty quickly, so if you are interested, please do book early to avoid disappointment.
This week I thought I would start with Paula the Polar Bear’s visit to Canterbury Cathedral precincts on Wednesday. She only visited her adoring public for short periods due to the warm weather – Canterbury is hardly the Arctic even with global warming and deep ice sheets melting to the north of Greenland.
Many thanks to Dr Diane Heath and Dr Pip Gregory for running the ‘Young Medievalists’ Corner’ yesterday (funded by Swale Borough Council) – more on that soon; but also a reminder that Diane and Harriet Kersey will be back for their third Saturday on 21st July. The doors of Faversham Town Council’s ‘Heritage Hub’, as part of Faversham Society’s Open Weekends, will open at 10 am, with ‘young medievalists’ activities’ from 11am – do come and join them.
After another very successful History Weekend, I would first like to thank all the great speakers (see below), but equally the brilliant audiences we had at all 27 events from ‘Saturn’s Fury’ puppet show in Waterstones on Friday morning to Dr Michael Jones’ talk on the Black Prince and Professor Carenza Lewis’ lecture on new discoveries about the impact of the Black Death that were the last parallel events on Sunday afternoon. Without YOU the audience the Weekend would be meaningless, and your enthusiasm, engagement and searching questions covering the wide range of topics on offer was wonderful from the organisers’ perspective – THANK YOU!
Now that the Easter holidays have arrived, I thought I would ask local readers if they have spotted the two posters in Waterstones advertising ‘Saturn’s Fury’ – the puppet show that will be taking place in the children’s area on the first floor of the book shop on Friday 6 April starting at 11am. Saturn, the green dragon, is making a guest appearance from The Canterbury Tales and would like as many young children and their parents, grandparents and others as possible to come along to help him find his roar which he has lost. This event is FREE and booking is not required. It forms the opening event of the Medieval Canterbury Weekend, and for slightly older ‘young medievalists’ and adults there is the chance that afternoon at 3pm to hear ‘Campfire Tales – with a Canterbury Twist’ in the garden of The Canterbury Tales. To book this and other events at the Medieval Canterbury Weekend, please visit: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/medieval-canterbury or after the Easter weekend phone 01227 782994.
Exciting news this week, we passed the thousand-ticket mark for the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2018. There are still tickets for all the talks but some of the guided tours have now sold out. So if you haven’t already done so, why not check out the website at: www.canterbury.ac.uk/medieval-canterbury for exciting talks on wonderful medieval manuscripts (Professors Michelle Brown and Richard Gameson), fantastic stained glass windows or medieval beasts (Leonie Seliger and Dr Diane Heath).
In 2018, we will be heading back to the Middle Ages for our Medieval Canterbury Weekend from the 6 to 8 April. Regarding the lectures and tours, we will start on the Friday evening as usual with a lecture by a leading expert in his/her field.